Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Mac G4 Chip Shortage: No Obstacle for Vendors

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Mac G4 Chip Shortage: No Obstacle for Vendors

Article excerpt

MOTOROLA'S 'BRAIN DRAIN' HASN'T HAD ANY SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON APPLE COMPUTER USERS IN THE INDUSTRY. YET.

Neither system vendors nor a sampling of their newspaper customers report problems as a result of the shortage of chips that are the brains of Apple Computer Inc.'s new G4 line of Macintosh computers.

By late September - only weeks after it formally introduced its new PowerMac - Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., had received less than half the supply of G4 chips it had expected from Motorola. Without explaining the shortfall, Motorola said it anticipated meeting demand soon.

Orders for the G4-based PowerMac came early and strong, but only Motorola manufactures the microprocessor, although its PowerPC architecture was developed by a collaboration of Apple, Motorola, and ibm, which made some earlier PowerPC chips.

Though at least a couple of its accounts were slated to install G4s, Baseview Products, developer of Mac-only systems sold to thousands of mostly small and mid-size dailies and weeklies, reported no complaints late last month. "I haven't heard any yet," remarked Kim Anderson, a sales liaison who works with customers and Baseview's sales force.

lag time built-in

"One site that called that actually had G3s ordered and couldn't get them for that same [chip shortage] reason," said Anderson, nevertheless "got G4s."

Baseview no longer sells hardware, but its hardware coordinator, Laurie Lynn, said she had "not heard of any problems" and would be looking for sources if any customers were experiencing serious difficulties.

"Typically, in the past, with the way Apple has made changes to their product line, we've always had a problem," said Lynn, pointing to the practice of producing new products only after letting inventory sell out of channels. So Baseview plans for some lag time between announcement and availability of a new product, she said, and informs customers and tries "to have them purchase new hardware a little sooner than normal."

In Phoenix, The Arizona Republic will be installing approximately 100 G4s for its new advertising system from Digital Technology International (dt), Springville, Utah. "But we don't plan on having them install those till the beginning of next year," said dt quality assurance director Eric Brant. "So it may be remediated by that."

A temporary shortage of G4s has left the Republic "a little disappointed" in some respects, said the director, advertising and marketing applications, Dena Greenawalt. …

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